Maintaining Aboriginal cultural identity and connections

This page provides information about resources and support services to help Aboriginal children and young people maintain their cultural identity and links to their community.

Aboriginal children and young people are over-represented in the care population. There is a shortage of culturally appropriate placements for them.

Support contacts for carers of Aboriginal children

Contact your foster care agency or support worker to find out how to help the Aboriginal child or young person in your care best maintain his or her cultural connections.

Relative and kinship carers can contact their support worker from the Department for Child Protection kinship care team to request training about helping children maintain cultural connections.

Aboriginal life storybook

The Aboriginal life storybook covers areas including: cultural and kinship groups, Elders, The Dreaming, Dreaming stories and kinship genograms (family trees). It is individualised for the young person's gender and kinship group.

The book aims to correctly identify children and young people within their cultural group and, where possible, within their family or clan group to help them engage with their culture.

A copy of this workbook can be obtained from the child's caseworker.

See Life story work for more information about its benefits and your role as a carer.

Cultural maintenance plans

Cultural maintenance plans help the child or young person establish, reconnect, and maintain connection with family, community, country, and culture. Each Aboriginal child in care will have a cultural maintenance plan.

It is the responsibility of the Department for Child Protection caseworker to make sure each child has a cultural maintenance plan.

Youth workers and mentoring services

Metropolitan Aboriginal Youth and Families (MAYFS) is a specialist team of Aboriginal service providers delivering targeted youth work services for Aboriginal young people (aged 10-18).

MAYFS services include a mentoring program for young people and programs for small groups of young people to learn about their culture and skills for life.

Entry to these programs is by referral. To access these programs, contact your child's caseworker.

Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care (SNAICC)

Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care (SNAICC) is the national non-government peak body representing the interests of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families.

SNAICC has tools and resources that address issues of parenting from an Aboriginal perspective and delivers projects focusing on cultural identity.

Related information

On this site

Programs and initiatives for Aboriginal high school students
Learning about Aboriginal history and culture

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Page last updated 15 May 2023

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